How to drive traffic to your Shopify store

There are many ways to drive traffic to your store: Search engines, email subscribers, social media, paid advertising, forums, sponsorship & blogging to name a few.

Which one you choose depends on what you think you can do consistently, and what works for your brand.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is difficult, so unless you're prepared to invest considerable time and effort into the long game, I recommend focussing on something that will deliver results faster.

Having said that, you do need to ensure your store is being indexed by the search engines so it can be found via organic search. To achieve this, I recommend verifying your site with Google & Bing and submitting your store sitemap to both search engines.

You can do this yourself by visiting these sites and following the instructions.

Both methods require adding verification code to the theme.liquid page of your site.

I provide this as a service for $74 USD: Google & Bing site verification and sitemap submission

Also, try to make the most of your page title and meta description. You can do this yourself on this page: Online store > Preferences

Shopify page title tag and meta description

This is the text that's displayed when your store appears on search engine results pages (Google, Bing, etc), and it helps attract traffic to your store.

To learn more about how to write this text, please download this free PDF guide.

Every page of your store has an SEO page title and meta description where you can optimize the text that appears in search engine results pages.

Shopify search engine listing preview

If you want to optimize these pages for your whole store, I recommend installing the SEO Manager app.

You should also set up a Google Analytics account and add the tracking code to your store so you can see where your traffic is coming from and what your conversion rate is.

I provide this as a service for $74 USD: Set up Google Analytics

Email marketing 

Email marketing is probably the most effective way of engaging and converting traffic into sales. If you don't already have an email subscriber list, you should start building one immediately.

Make it easy for people to join your mailing list by using popups or prominent signup forms on your site. Give people a reason to join your mailing list, such as a discount, a free download, or free shipping on their first order.

Your mailing list represents your most engaged audience. These people have chosen to receive your emails, so if you can create engaging messages and great offers that drive them to your store, this will also be your highest converting audience.

To integrate email marketing into your store, I recommend the following services: 

  • Mailchimp allows you to create signup forms and popups, custom email campaigns and automated email flows. It's free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 10,000 emails per month*.
    * From March 1, 2023, Mailchimp free accounts will be limited to 500 contacts and 1,000 emails per month.
  • Klaviyo is the best-in-class email marketing platform for ecommerce, and integrates seamlessly with Shopify. It includes custom signup forms and popups, custom email campaigns, email autoresponders and flows, custom notification templates, advanced personalisation and segmentation of active profiles, and unique discount codes. It's free for up to 250 subscribers and 500 emails per month.
I provide these email marketing add-on services:

Paid advertising

Google Ads and Facebook Ads can be effective ways of using paid advertising to reach your audience. Google ads are probably better for finding people with an intent to buy by using keywords that reflect this, such as "buy nike trainers online".

Facebook ads are very useful for finding "lookalike audiences" - audiences that are similar to people who are already interested in your products, such as the followers of your Facebook group or Instagram page, your mailing list, or your existing customers. You can create a "lookalike audience" from any of these groups, and then target this new audience with your Facebook ads.

Facebook ads are also good for retargeting people who have visited your store, so they receive ads that remind them of what they looked on your store sometime later. To use this feature you need to have the Facebook Pixel installed in your store. You can do this yourself on this page: Online store > Preferences

Setup Facebook Pixel in Shopify

Social media

Many Shopify merchants have had great success using Facebook closed groups to build a community of followers. One of my clients makes most of her sales using Facebook live video. She sells directly to customers from her Facebook group for over an hour, twice a week and makes over $10K USD every time. The FOMO effect she creates in her live sales converts like crazy!

Instagram is also a great place to engage followers with regular, quality content and occasional product promotions.

As I said, there are many ways to drive traffic to your store. Most people try and fail several times before finding a technique or a niche that works for them, and then building on that.

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Does Shopify have free traffic?

Shopify does not directly provide free traffic for your store. However, there are several methods you can utilize to attract organic and unpaid traffic to your Shopify store. These strategies involve optimizing your website for search engines, utilizing social media platforms effectively, and implementing content marketing techniques. By focusing on these approaches, you can generate free traffic to your Shopify store and increase its visibility to potential customers. Remember, it's important to actively work on these strategies to drive organic traffic, as Shopify itself does not automatically bring free traffic to your store.

How can I get my products listed on Google Shopping for free?

To get your products listed on Google Shopping for free, follow these steps:

  1. Implement a well-defined SEO strategy: Having a strong SEO strategy in place can significantly improve your website's traffic. However, if your products are only listed in the Shopify Catalog, they will only appear as regular web pages on Google search results. To take advantage of Google Shopping's free listing program, you need to optimize your product data.
  2. Optimize your product feed: To ensure high rankings for your products on Google, you need to create an optimized product feed that meets Google's product data specifications. This includes providing accurate and detailed information such as titles, descriptions, images, pricing, availability, and relevant attributes such as brand, GTIN, MPN, and more.
  3. Maintain consistency between product data and your website: It's crucial to ensure that the information in your product data matches the information on your website. Consistency between the two will improve the visibility of your products on Google Shopping.
  4. Adhere to Google's policies: Follow Google's policies for displaying products in free listings and shopping ads. This includes displaying your return policy and including a link to your shipping policy on your website. Compliance with these policies will enhance your eligibility for Google Customer Reviews, which can improve your product visibility and credibility.
  5. Link your Merchant Center Account with Google Business Profile: If applicable, integrate your Merchant Center Account with your Google Business Profile and any third-party platforms you sell on. This integration can provide additional benefits and streamline your product listings on Google Shopping.
  6. Implement Google's SEO guide: Follow Google's SEO guide to enhance your website's visibility in search results. By improving your website's search visibility, you increase the chances of your products appearing in relevant searches on Google Shopping.

By following these steps and optimizing your product data, you can list your products on Google Shopping for free and reach potential customers across various Google channels, including the Shopping tab, Google Images, Google Search, and even YouTube. This extensive reach will allow you to connect with customers in multiple contexts and increase your chances of driving traffic to your Shopify store.

Where does Shopify traffic typically come from?

Shopify traffic typically originates from various sources, each playing a crucial role in optimizing marketing strategies and attracting targeted visitors to an online store. These key traffic sources include:

  1. Organic Search: Traffic driven by search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo when users discover a store through relevant search queries. This type of traffic is unpaid and relies on search engine optimization (SEO) efforts to improve visibility in search results.
  2. Paid Advertising: Traffic generated by paid campaigns, such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or Instagram Ads. Store owners can allocate a budget for advertising to reach a wider audience and attract potential customers who are actively searching or browsing online.
  3. Social Media: Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest offer significant potential for driving traffic to a Shopify store. By establishing a strong social media presence and engaging with followers, store owners can leverage these platforms to increase brand visibility and direct users to their online store.
  4. Referral Traffic: Referrals occur when other websites or blogs link to a store. Building relationships with influencers, guest posting on relevant websites, or participating in industry communities can generate referral traffic, increase brand exposure, and attract visitors who trust the recommendations of these external sources.
  5. Direct Traffic: This refers to visitors who directly enter a store's URL into their browser or have the website bookmarked. It is often a result of strong brand awareness, customer loyalty, or offline promotions. Direct traffic indicates that customers are actively seeking out a specific store.
  6. Email Marketing: By leveraging an email subscriber list, store owners can send targeted campaigns, promotional offers, or newsletters to drive traffic to their Shopify store. Email marketing allows for direct communication with past customers or interested subscribers, driving repeat visits and potential purchases.

By understanding and optimizing these various traffic sources, Shopify store owners can enhance their marketing strategies, increase brand visibility, and attract the right audience to their online stores.